Ankara: The Turkish military has released an audio recording of what it said were warnings to the Russian fighter before it was shot down near the Syrian border after it violated Turkish airspace, a media report said on Thursday.
“This is Turkish Air Force speaking on guard. You are approaching Turkish airspace. Change your heading south immediately. Change your heading south” a voice is heard saying in English.
Turkey said it had tried to rescue the Russian SU-24 bomber’s two pilots, BBC reported.
Two Turkish F-16 warplanes shot down the Russian jet after it failed to heed at least 10 warnings within the rules of engagement. The jet crashed into tents in Latakia’s Yamadi village near the Syrian border where Turkmens are currently staying.
One pilot was killed by gunfire as he parachuted from the burning plane. The other one was rescued. He denied claims the jet had violated Turkish airspace and warnings had been given.
Meanwhile, the surviving Russian pilot said on Wednesday no warning had been given by Turkey.
Captain Konstantin Murakhtin also stressed there was “no way” the jet could have violated Turkish airspace, as Ankara said it did.
He knew the region “very well”, he said, and the jet had not been in Turkish airspace “even for a second”.
Russia said the pilot was rescued from rebel-held territory in north-eastern Syria in a 12-hour operation involving Russian and Syrian special forces. The helicopter was destroyed by rebels in the area.